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OD Insider – July | August 2015

President’s Message

President's Message, OD Insider - July | August 2015

I recently returned from my 1st CAO Congress! Fredericton was a beautiful and culturally rich backdrop for meetings, education sessions and social events. The outgoing CAO president (our very own Paul Geneau of Nanaimo) was honoured by incoming president Dr. Barry Thienes of Saskatchewan for his hard work and dedication to optometry in Canada. On behalf of BCDO I would like to thank Paul for his service and for representing BC well over the past few years. We wish you well in your newly appointed role as the Canadian representative to the World Council of Optometry.

As some of you with colleagues in Ontario already know, the Ontario Association of Optometrists, along with the CAO, has opened a dialogue with Essilor Canada and The goal of the working group is to find joint solutions to the problem of   Read more »

Eye See … Eye Learn® expanding for the new school year!

Features, OD Insider - July | August 2015

Thank you to everyone who has participated in Eye See … Eye Learn® since its launch in March, 2014! The program has been successful in providing eye exams and free eyeglasses to Kindergarten students throughout the province, and is once again expanding to new school districts this fall!

The current kindergarten cohort (born in 2009) has until August 31, 2015 to get an eye exam and free glasses under the program. After this date, please do not accept ESEL patients born in 2009. Starting in September, the next cohort (born in 2010) will receive letters which parents can bring to an ESEL clinic in order to participate in the program. These letters contain an expiry date of August 31, 2016.

ESEL by the numbers:

Since September, 2014:

1680 Kindergarten children received an eye exam under Eye See … Eye   Read more »

October is Children’s Vision Month!

Association News, OD Insider - July | August 2015

In 2015, the DOC Campaign will again activate during Children’s Vision Month in October. Campaign materials will focus on the importance of getting regular eye exams for children to help them reach their full potential in school, socially and at play.

Building on the momentum of last year’s Rogers Media partnership, paid ad content will include:

Google displays ads for both DOC and BCDO Print articles in Today’s Parent and Chatelaine Broadcast coverage on City TV (including multiple airings of a children’s eye health segment, airing of the 30-second DOC children’s vision TV ad, and a 5-day giveaway on Breakfast Television)

In addition to magazine and TV coverage, blog posts supporting Children’s Vision Month will appear on popular mom blogs Savvy Mom and Yummy Mummy Club, a Facebook contest will be held and media outreach will be conducted in   Read more »

New Grad Boot Camp

Association News, OD Insider - July | August 2015

New graduate members are invited to attend our New Grad Boot Camp, September 20, 2015 at the Metropolitan Hotel in downtown Vancouver. This free event will provide new graduates with a better understanding of the optometric profession in British Columbia, and practical tools, information and advice to help you get the most out of your profession for years to come.

Stay tuned for more information!

  Read more »

Response to Ministry of Health Policy Papers

Association News, OD Insider - July | August 2015

The Association responded to a request for review and feedback on Ministry of Health “Future of Primary Care in BC” policy papers released in February, 2015. BCDO noted the absence of any specific inclusion of Optometry as a primary care provider in these policy papers. We included feedback on the consistent lack of awareness or acceptance within the Ministry of Health of vision and eye health; the related costs to the health care system; the role of optometrists as a member of the primary health care team and how improvements can be made within the existing system for the delivery of eye care services. Association representatives met with ministry staff in mid-July to discussion our submission, which received a positive response. Updates on this ongoing collaboration will be provided in future enews editions.

  Read more »

Areas of Practice Interests Member Survey 2015

Association News, OD Insider - July | August 2015

Approximately 40 percent of members recently completed a survey sent to them in May 2015. The survey focused on specialized testing or services members offer for patient referrals between colleagues.

When asked to indicate the number of work locations, two-thirds of members responded with one practice. One in five members have two practices, and one in ten have more than three practices.

Specialized tests and services

Almost all members surveyed are currently accepting referrals from other colleagues, with less than five percent not accepting new patients.

Top three specialized testing or services most offered by members are as follows:

Visual field for threshold testing 30 point or less OSMV binocular vision problems Advanced dry eye.

Less than 15 percent of members offer out-of-office visits to home care facility or hospital, Ortho-K, and low vision.

Members also offer a range of   Read more »

OD to OD Referral List

Association News, OD Insider - July | August 2015

From the survey responses, we compiled a total of 265 listings in 64 communities throughout BC. Each doctor in a group practice is listed independently as some members in a group practice may not offer all the same services.

Members can access this list by logging into the members-only website and visiting Business Tools > Areas of Practice Interest.

If you would like to have your name added to the list, please complete OD to OD Referral Survey. The list will be updated on an ongoing basis.

  Read more »

BC Doctors of Optometry Fall Symposium – Mark your calendar!

Association News, OD Insider - July | August 2015

The 2015 Fall Symposium will be held October 3 – 4, 2015. More information will be provided soon!

  Read more »

Make CCOAs part of your team!

Association News, OD Insider - July | August 2015

The Canadian Certified Optometric Assistant program (CCOA) is an online distance education program that gives optometric assistants the skills and knowledge they need to contribute to a thriving optometric practice, today and into the future. Available exclusively to employees of CAO members, the CCOA helps improve the efficiency and professionalism of your staff.

The CCOA resources are continually being updated and expanded upon. A new website will launch soon and will include discussion forums, access to the resource library, an archive of the Assistant’s View newsletter and a portal for students and CCOA’s (CE tracking).

Learn more and register today!

  Read more »

Health Canada Proceeding with Bill C-313 Regulations

In Brief, OD Insider - July | August 2015

Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose has announced that Health Canada is proceeding with regulations that will require identical safety standards for non-corrective (cosmetic) contact lenses as prescription/corrective contact lenses.

These new regulations will come into effect on July 16, 2016, as per the anticipated yearlong moratorium.

Health Canada states the delay is to allow manufacturers to bring their operations into compliance with the new regulations.

BC Doctors of Optometry congratulates the Minister of Health for supporting these important regulatory changes, and commends the tireless efforts of MP Pat Davidson, whose Private Members Bill sought to classify cosmetic contact lenses as class II medical devices under the Federal Food and Drug Act. This will ultimately protect the public by allowing only licensed eye care professionals to dispense and prescribe all cosmetic contact lenses after a proper eye assessment and fitting. The   Read more »

Provincial Retinal Diseases Treatment Program Now Includes Aflibercept

In Brief, OD Insider - July | August 2015

Effective July 1, 2015, the drug therapy coverage under the Provincial Retinal Diseases Treatment Program was expanded to include aflibercept (Eylea®) for the treatment of Diabetic macular edema (DME) and retinal vein occlusion (RVO) when prescribed and administered by Retinal Specialists. Read more.

  Read more »

Buyer Beware: Local Optometrists Receiving Sales Calls from IAHCP

In Brief, OD Insider - July | August 2015

The International Association of HealthCare Professionals has been cold-calling local optometrists offering for them to sign-up to be listed as a “top doctor” on their website. Please note this is a fee-for-service listing and these are unsolicited sales calls.

  Read more »

Setting up your device to use CRA online services

In Brief, OD Insider - July | August 2015

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) regularly updates its security protocols to safeguard the confidential information it holds, in keeping with industry standards and Communications Security Establishment Canada and Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat recommendations.

Over the next two years, the computing industry will eliminate certain security protocols that are more than 10 years old. As is normal practice, to maintain the security of the CRA’s information technology systems, the Agency is planning to phase out older software versions and will only support web browsers that meet industry security standards (Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.2 or newer).

The CRA encourages users to upgrade to TLS 1.2 to avoid issues related to accessing CRA secure services or other services on the Internet.

This update is part of the CRA’s normal procedures to stay at the forefront of data security standards and make   Read more »

Summer Health Pitch: UV and Cataracts

PR Update, OD Insider - July | August 2015

With summer in full-swing and with Cataracts Awareness Month in June, we took the opportunity to pitch to local media with story ideas and interview opportunities. We received coverage throughout the province with help from our local media spokespeople.

Dr. Della Chow featured in Vancouver Sun
July 31, 2015
Dr. Della Chow was featured in a Vancouver Sun article: Eyes can get sunburned, too. The article includes information on protecting your eyes from UV rays, the risks surrounding UV damage, and what types of sunglasses to wear. The estimated impressions for this piece are 314,076 (print), and 883,000 (online). Dr. Elaine Kerr featured in Campbell River Mirror
July 31, 2015
Dr. Elaine Kerr was featured in the Campbell River Mirror article: The eyes have it. The article was published on the front   Read more »

Media Outreach: Share Your Stories

PR Update, OD Insider - July | August 2015

From time to time, the Association issues news releases to local media about individual patients’ eye health, problems and/or success stories. This is an important component of our awareness campaign.

If you have a patient with a story worth sharing with the media, please ask them to fill out a News Release Waiver and return it to the Association office at or via fax to 604-737-9967.

  Read more »

a-b-See™ program coming to a preschool/daycare near you

PR Update, OD Insider - July | August 2015

Thanks to the continued support of Essilor Vision Foundation, BC Doctors of Optometry is providing a-b-See™ kits to preschools and daycares for the twelfth consecutive year. The program increases awareness of children’s vision and educates parents about the importance of getting their child’s eyes examined. Kits containing stickers, activity sheets, and information for teachers and parents will be mailed to preschools and daycares across BC this fall.

Are you participating in school presentations or children’s health fairs? Contact us to receive a complimentary a-b-See™ kit:


  Read more »

Google Display Ads Now Live

PR Update, OD Insider - July | August 2015

As part of our digital advertising strategy, BC Doctors of Optometry has created animated digital display ads which appear online. The ads contain important facts about eye health and link to the BC Doctors of Optometry website.

  Read more »

Ask a Doctor: Myth Buster Videos

PR Update, OD Insider - July | August 2015

Expanding on the popular “Ask a Doctor” videos, BC Doctors of Optometry is developing a series of videos specifically for BC that feature optometrists busting common eye health myths. The videos pose a question such as “is reading in dim light really harmful?”, “will sitting too close to the TV really hurt my eyes?” or “is it true you should never look directly at the sun?” The videos feature average people on the street trying to answer the question, juxtaposed with the correct answer from an optometrist.

Watch out for the videos on the BC Doctors of Optometry YouTube channel and website featuring local Doctors of Optometry. The videos will be posted in the coming weeks: Stay tuned!

  Read more »

Take Advantage of TELUS Health’s eClaims Solution

Member Benefits, OD Insider - July | August 2015

Did you know? As a member of BC Doctors of Optometry you can submit claims using the eClaims solution.

What is eClaims?

Accessible through a web portal, TELUS Health’s eClaims is an online solution enabling you to submit claims on behalf of your patients at the point of care. It offers value-added service by lowering patients’ out-of-pocket expenses and by doing away with paper claims.

11 Insurers on 1 Portal

eClaims works with nearly all Canadian benefit plan providers to cover 85% of privately insured lives. Insurers include: Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan, Cowan Insurance Group, Desjardins Insurance, Great-West Life, Industrial Alliance, Johnson Inc., Manulife Financial, Maximum Benefit or Johnston Group, Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada and Sun Life Financial.

Over 50% of optometrists are already registered

On top of providing an extra service for your patients, eClaims   Read more »

Roster Update

Roster Update, OD Insider - July | August 2015

Welcome to Our New Members:
Dr. Harminder Antal
Dr. Andrew Asgarpour
Dr. Kevin Badyal
Dr. Brandon Baker
Dr. Vincent Budac
Dr. Sarah Brassil
Dr. Talisa Dennis
Dr. Helen Mach
Dr. Allison Mah
Dr. Ashala Mah
Dr. Byrant Mah
Dr. Shaun Pati
Dr. Amit Sahota
Dr. Ryan Schmidt
Dr. Davinder Sidhu
Dr. Kelsey Snow
Dr. Herjot Sundher
Dr. Eryn Zorn

Returning Member:
Dr. Susan Seibold

  Read more »


Calendar, OD Insider - July | August 2015


September 20, 2015
New Grad Boot Camp
Metropolitan Hotel, Vancouver


October 1 – 31, 2015
Children’s Vision Month October 3 – 4, 2015
2015 Fall Symposium


February 20 – 22, 2015
2016 Annual Conference and OPTOFAIR
Westin Bayshore, Vancouver   Read more »